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Published: Friday, 10/22/2004

Vocalist sees music as 'calling'

BY DAVID YONKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Adams Adams
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The power of music "never ceases to amaze me," said Oleta Adams, the soulful singer who will be in concert tomorrow night at the Valentine Theatre.

Adams, who rose to stardom after being discovered in a Kansas City, Kan., hotel bar in 1989, said she has toyed with the idea of quitting show business and "running to a little tiny town somewhere far away .●.●. and live as simply as I can."

But whenever Adams feels tempted to abandon the spotlight, she said she just thinks of all the people who have told her how much her songs like "Get Here," "My Heart Won't Lie," and "All the Love" have meant to them.

"I am so far beyond the romance of the industry now," said Adams, who considers her abilities "a calling" to help listeners "search for the truth about love, about faith, and fighting fears and quelling hatred."

The daughter of a Baptist minister, Adams grew up in the Pacific Northwest and was singing in church as a young child. By the age of 11, she had earned a reputation as a piano prodigy and was directing and singing with four gospel choirs.

Adams turned down an offer to study for a career in opera so she could focus on mainstream pop music, but her aspirations were cut short by the popularity of disco music in the early 1970s. She said music industry executives felt that her gospel-tinged voice didn't fit the disco style.

Adams moved to Kansas City and made a living performing in hotel lounges. In 1989, Tears for Fears frontmen Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith came to her show and were struck by Adams' powerful, soulful voice.

They invited her to go on tour with them and produced Adams' 1990 debut disc, "Circle of One," which propelled her to fame and sold 2.5 million copies. Her latest disc, "All the Love," is her first new album in five years.

Oleta Adams performs at 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Valentine Theatre, 400 North Superior St. Tickets are $20, $32, and $42 from the box office, 419-242-2787.

Contact David Yonke at:

dyonke@theblade.com or

419-724-6154.



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